I didn’t grow up like the average child. I didn’t have a father, my older sister didn’t live with us, and we moved a lot. At the age of ten, I learned why. My biological father was diagnosed as a textbook pedophile, and I had been one of his victims from infancy to age three. It would take a lot of love to counter the darkness in my young and damaged life. And it would take the combined efforts of professional therapists to guide me back to a place of healing.
I learned the truth about my dad when I was ten years old.
I was haunted by what my father had done. I started having ulcers, crying spells, and fatigue. I started researching depression and anxiety. I realized I displayed all of the signs associated with severe depression and anxiety. I needed help, and I finally talked to my mother about it.
Like searching for a doctor or daycare, finding a good therapist requires some shopping around. My first therapy experience was ineffective, I felt myself slipping into a darker state of mind and felt unbearable hopelessness. Finally, my mother and I decided together that I needed inpatient therapy in a controlled environment.
When I was younger, my mother had bought me a stuffed dog that was bigger than me. I called him “Big Dog.” I use to lie on Big Dog and hugged him when I felt sad. I held onto Big Dog, and sobbed uncontrollably as I walked with my mother and the inpatient coordinator over to the hospital for admission. The process involved my bag being searched for anything I could use to hurt myself, physical and mental examinations, and what seemed like an endless amount of paperwork. My mother and I embraced and cried together until it was time for her to leave.
I was scared and depressed and missed my mother so much, but I always felt her love. I also knew in my heart that therapy was the only way to start my road to recovery, and I was determined not to allow my biological father to defeat me and ruin my life. I wanted to heal my mind and soul.
I was so grateful that my mother listened to me when I told her I needed help. She helped me make this healing happen by putting me in a place where I could start on my road to recovery. I know her love inspired me to work on my recovery. I couldn’t have done it without her by my side. I couldn’t have done it without my mother’s love.
It is hard to seek out help even when you have the support of family and friends. Professional help is crucial in the fight to regain your life, but the care and concern of loved ones is a powerful companion in such difficult times. I’m so glad I found help. I’m so glad I am no longer in that dark place in my life. And I’m so glad I had people who helped me find that peace again.